Rochford Council plans memorial to those who lost their lives in pandemic

Mick Ferris
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It has now been one year since the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

In that time the world as we know it has dramatically changed. Jobs that some thought could not be possible from home are now done with the help of online conferencing facilities. There have been birthday parties, job interviews, leaving presentations, and even funerals all played out via our computer screens.

Compared to other areas, Rochford district has always known green areas but perhaps only now do they truly appreciate the green space they have. Home workers and furloughed staff have opportunities to go for that run before work, while full lockdown saw families get on their bikes to expand their horizons with trips out.

The Rochford District Community Response Hub was set up by the community sector with the MegaCentre, churches, Rayleigh, Rochford and District Association for Voluntary Service (RRAVS), Rochford District Council and local volunteers from across the district all coming together to support our most vulnerable residents.

The community hub continues to build on the relationships and the positives that have been built up over the last year and its helpline provides ongoing support for those in need.

Vital council services continued to run, waste crews worked harder than ever to keep our district tidy whilst we stayed inside our homes to keep families safe and help prevent the virus from spreading. Business grants were implemented and distributed to ensure that the district’s local economy had access to financial support and local communities came together to set up support groups to help those in most need.

Rochford District Council is proposing a memorial in the district to remember all those who have lost their lives and those who have been bereaved by the virus. It will acknowledge the huge number of personal sacrifices made to help and protect others.

The council will be bringing forward proposals for the memorial in the new municipal year.

Cllr David Sperring, who proposed the idea said “this virus has taken our friends and our families, and its effects have been felt on every single person in this district. I think we should have a permanent memorial which will be a marker to reflect on the impact the past year has had on all of us.”

Cllr Simon Wootton, Leader Rochford District Council said “It is right that Rochford District Council creates a permanent memorial to all those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and later in the year, when restrictions have lifted, I look forward to seeing this memorial being unveiled.

“In the meantime, we are grateful to our NHS and care workers as well as every person who helped keep our country going throughout the pandemic.”

Mick Ferris

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